3D Printing COVID-19 Response, 4/10

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3D Printing COVID-19 Response, Pt. 1, 4/10

The 3D printing industry updates concerning the impact of COVID-19 on the industry within the past seven days include partnerships between companies such as Neurophotometrics and Markforged and BONE3D and Stratasys, a new initiative by Materialise, and the Stopgap 3D mask by 3D Systems. We also identified a report about the successful production of protective visors by the University of Liverpool.

University of Liverpool

  • On the 3rd of April 2020, Engineers at the University of Liverpool announced that they have successfully produced protective visors for use in local hospitals through their experience in laser cutting and 3D printing technology.
  • According to a publication by the University, "the protective visors, developed in conjunction with NHS staff at local hospitals (including the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Broadgreen Hospital, Aintree University Hospital, and Southport & Ormskirk Hospital Trust), use a hybrid design approach with a laser-cut top section and a 3-D printed bottom section."
  • The Laser cutting technology used helped reduce the time of production from six hours to 30 minutes, while the local industry is helping to orchestrate production.
  • The staff and Ph.D. students of the University's Active Learning Laboratory are helping with initial batch production of 50-100 protective visors daily while nursing the plans of increasing the number to hundreds per day within the coming weeks.
  • The device will be delivered to three hospitals in the local region in the next few days with other local hospitals soon to follow suit.
  • A video description of the production process is provided herein.

BONE3D installation of Stratasys FDM 3D printers at Paris Hospital

  • In union with Stratasys and University of Paris, BONE3D, a French medical 3D printing company, announced on the 8th of April, that it had installed 61 3D printers at the Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris.
  • According to 3D Adept, the investment is the largest ever made in a “manufacturer’s portfolio since the beginning of the sanitary crisis and to combat this pandemic.”
  • The installation will help with the intermittent supply of equipment such as electrical syringe pumps, protective face shields and masks, intubation equipment, and respirator valves.
  • Bone3D medical printing service providers will help the hospital with the appropriate management, operation and support, and implementation of the fleet.
  • In alignment with the implementation of the printers, the hospital has developed a customized 3D printing platform at 3dcovid.org to help fast-track requests for 3D-related projects from medical practitioners within Paris and its surroundings.

Stopgap 3D Printed Mask

New Initiative from Materialise

  • On the 6th of April, Materialise announced that it had developed a solution to assist with the delivery of oxygen at high positive pressure in the absence of a ventilator.
  • According to the company, “a 3D printed connector converts standard equipment already available in most hospitals into a non-invasive PEEP mask (NIP) that can be connected to the oxygen supply (to facilitate breathing for coronavirus patients).”
  • The new design offers patients additional time before a mechanical ventilator is required for treatment and also help with transitioning them off ventilators earlier, in order to free up the ventilators for critical patients.
  • The connector uses a non-invasive ventilation (NIV) mask, a PEEP valve, and a filter, making the solution simple and familiar enough to be used by medical professionals.
  • The NIP Connectors will be “manufactured at the company’s ISO 13485 certified facilities in Belgium and Plymouth, Michigan and on-site 3D printing facilities of qualified partners.”
  • The company predicts that the device will be in circulation in hospitals by mid-April. Materialise is also looking for partners to help get the device to as many patients as possible.
  • An image of the 3D connector design by Materialise is provided herein.

Neurophotometrics and Markforged partnership

  • On the 9th of April, Markforged, a “metal and carbon fiber 3D printer manufacturer, is partnering with Neurophotometrics to produce Fiberflex Rayon, a 3D printed nasopharyngeal (NP) swab for use in diagnostic testing for COVID-19.”
  • Greg Mark, the chief executive at Markforged, opined that the swabs were produced to help meet with the shortage in supply being experienced by hospitals and also to curb the report about false swabs available in the market.
  • With the help of the “San Diego COVID Research Enterprise Network (SCREEN) Initiative, a group of scientists, students, research institutions, and others in the San Diego area — Neurophotometrics, Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, the Scripps Research Institute, and the University of California San Diego designed and tested the 3D printed swabs with fifty volunteers.”
  • A retest was carried out on COVID-19 positive patients three to fourteen days after their first diagnosis with both the 3D printed swab and the commercial swab. The test with the commercial swab detected the presence of the virus in most patients, while all the 3D printed swabs tests returned positive, confirming the high efficiency of the 3D printed swab.
  • The design consists of a 3D printed nylon swab base with a wrapped rayon tip to gather the viral specimens.
  • The group is currently making 10,000 swabs daily, and nursing plans to scale up production to 100,000 per day.
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3D Printing COVID-19 Response, Pt. 2, 4/10

Stratasys, Protolabs, Materialise, and HP, are actively communicating their initiatives in response to COVID-19 via such channels as social media, press releases, and feature articles on third-party websites. Xerox, on the other hand, has not mentioned anything specific to the 3D printing space concerning its response to COVID-19.


  • Within the past week, Stratasys has made three COVID-19 related posts on Facebook. In the first two posts on April 9, the company expressed that it is proud to be working with Solid Energy SRL and Blue Origin in the fight against COVID-19. These posts have received 16 and 65 reactions, respectively.
  • In its latest Facebook post, the company has called for more submissions for the #CoVentChallenge on GrabCAD, announcing that more than 20 mechanical ventilator designs have been submitted.
  • Stratasys has made nine posts about its initiatives in response to COVID-19 on Twitter in the past week. The first two posts are the same posts about submissions for the #CoVentChallenge on GrabCAD its partnership with Blue Origin as posted on its Facebook page.
  • It thanked Boom Supersonic for using Stratasys' 3D printers in its fight against COVID-19.
  • Stratasys tweeted its only blog post in the past week in response to customer inquiries, stating that it conducted an evaluation and found minimal biocompatibility risk in the use of 3D-printing material for parts in respiratory and ventilator equipment.
  • The company retweeted ULA's tweet, which stated that ULA is working with Project C.U.R.E and Stratasys in the fight against COVID-19. The company also thanked Bayer US for working with it to fight COVID-19.
  • Stratasys retweeted about its partnership with UCF and Orlando Health and about how Indycar teams are working with Stratasys in response to COVID-19.
  • Stratasys has not issued any press releases in the past week.


  • Protolabs has continued to use the hashtags "ProtolabsPROUD" and "fightcovid19" in its COVID-19 posts in the past week. It has made five unique posts about its initiatives in response to COVID-19 via its social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn).
  • It only posted two of these posts on LinkedIn, four on Instagram, and all five on Facebook and Twitter.
  • In these posts, Protolabs talks about how proud it is to be partnering with different companies in the fight against COVID-19, thanking some companies for joining its initiatives.
  • These posts have garnered tens of reactions on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, with only a handful of reactions on Twitter.
  • The company also provided updates on its website about its COVID-19 efforts over the past week. These updates included the partnerships it posted about on social media within the past week.
  • Within the past week, industry sites like Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Industry featured Protolabs, discussing the company's COVID-19 efforts.



  • On LinkedIn, the company posted a replay of an interview, which Ramon Pastor, the interim president of HP 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing, had on Digital Trends Live about how HP 3D Printing's efforts to contain COVID-19. The post has garnered 663 reactions and 11 comments so far.
  • HP last updated the page on its website that is dedicated to its 3D-printing efforts to contain COVID-19 on April 4, but it appears that there has not been any new info related to its 3D printing initiatives in the past week.
  • In the past week, the company has not posted about COVID-19 in relation to 3D printing on Facebook and Twitter, and its most recent YouTube video on 3D printing is unrelated to COVID-19.


  • Within the past week, Xerox has not mentioned anything specific to the 3D printing space in relation to its response against COVID-19. This was concluded after searching through its website, social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube), as well as third-party sites.


From Part 02